Oliver Jarvis celebrated his debut in the A1GP World Cup of Motorsport with the best result of the season for Team GB as he claimed a second place finish in the feature race in Beijing.

The 22-year-old, who got the call-up for the Chinese meeting ahead of Darren Manning and Robbie Kerr, overcame problems with the street circuit that meant he was only able to carry out limited running prior to race day to secure a double points finish that lifts Great Britain up to third in the standings behind Mexico and Germany.

Jarvis lined up eighth on the grid for the sprint race, based on his performance during the shortened Saturday practice session. With overtaking proving to be near impossible during the sprint race as those at the front aimed to keep a good grid slot for the feature race, Jarvis was only able to move up a single place during the race when Adrian Zaugg spun out early on.

The feature race proved to be more dramatic with Jarvis making a solid start from seventh. With the pit window opening on lap 20 the British team wasted little time in calling their rookie in from sixth and it proved to be a fortuitous decision as two safety car periods in quick succession removed the the advantage held by the leaders and handed control of proceedings to the early stoppers Holland, Germany, Italy and Great Britain.

As the cars ahead pitted Jarvis ascended to fourth on track and his solid drive was rewarded when Jeroene Bleekemolen and Nico Hulkenberg retired in quick succession - allowing the F3 runner-up to secure second behind Italian Enrico Toccacelo.

"I'm really happy, more for the team than for myself," Jarvis said. "I always have high expectations; I want to win races so I came here to give it my all. Obviously with the lack of running I didn't have the track time I'd have liked but we set out our game plan today and came away with a good result. There was no pressure from the team other than to do my best and it's a fantastic feeling to get the team's best result of the season and our first podium."

Team principal John Surtees was delighted with the performance of his new driver, especially after the loss of vital track time on both Friday and Saturday.

"I thought Oliver drove a very sensible race in the feature and basically justified the confidence we had as a team in running him," he said. "He had extremely limited running here due to the issues with the circuit in the first two days, he lost a full hour of rookie practice on Friday but drove well in today's races. It was an extremely mature performance and as a result we're up to third in the Nations Standings and looking strong heading to Malaysia."

 

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